Decide the Geographical Areas in which you Require Protection

The rights offered by trade marks are territorial. In other words, the rights are limited to the particular geographical areas in which protection has been obtained.

For example, a UK trade mark registration only provides protection of the relevant mark in the United Kingdom, while a European Community Trade mark (known as a “CTM”) covers each of the 28 European Member States, namely:


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom


If your business is international in nature, you should consider obtaining registered trade marks in all territories in which you currently operate, or in which you intend to operate in the near future.

In some instances, despite overlap, there is merit in filing a trade mark application in individual Member States in addition to a CTM application in order to afford a greater and more certain degree of protection. For further information on whether a national application and/or CTM application may be suitable and on the benefits of each, please refer to the FAQ Section.

There are also some circumstances in which it may be more cost-effective to seek trade mark protection by filing an International Trade Mark application (often referred to as a “Madrid Protocol” application) with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, rather than filing separate trade mark applications in individual territories.  This method of protection does, however, still require an application to be made in one country or territory initially. Please get in touch should you wish to discuss this further.

Next – How can you Exploit your Trade Mark?